A specific type of insulin-like peptide regulates the conditional growth of a beetle weapon

Yasukazu Okada, Masako Katsuki, Naoki Okamoto, Haruna Fujioka, Kensuke Okada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Evolutionarily conserved insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) has been identified as a major physiological mechanism underlying the nutrient-dependent regulation of sexually selected weapon growth in animals. However, the molecular mechanisms that couple nutritional state with weapon growth remain largely unknown. Here, we show that one specific subtype of insulin-like peptide (ILP) responds to nutrient status and thereby regulates weapon size in the broad-horned flour beetle Gnatocerus cornutus. By using transcriptome information, we identified five G. cornutus ILP (GcorILP1-5) and two G. cornutus insulin-like receptor (GcorInR1, -2) genes in the G. cornutus genome. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing revealed that a certain subtype of ILP, GcorILP2, specifically regulated weapon size. Importantly, GcorILP2 was highly and specifically expressed in the fat body in a condition-dependent manner. We further found that GcorInR1 and GcorInR2 are functionally redundant but that the latter is partially specialized for regulating weapon growth. These results strongly suggest that GcorILP2 is an important component of the developmental mechanism that couples nutritional state to weapon growth in G. cornutus. We propose that the duplication and subsequent diversification of IIS genes played a pivotal role in the evolution of the complex growth regulation of secondary sexual traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e3000541
JournalPLoS biology
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019

Fingerprint

Gnatocerus cornutus
Weapons
Beetles
insulin
peptides
Insulin
Coleoptera
Peptides
Genes
Growth
Nutrients
nutritional status
Somatomedins
Food
animal growth
Fat Body
Insulin Receptor
somatomedins
nutrients
Gene Silencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

A specific type of insulin-like peptide regulates the conditional growth of a beetle weapon. / Okada, Yasukazu; Katsuki, Masako; Okamoto, Naoki; Fujioka, Haruna; Okada, Kensuke.

In: PLoS biology, Vol. 17, No. 11, 01.11.2019, p. e3000541.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Okada, Yasukazu ; Katsuki, Masako ; Okamoto, Naoki ; Fujioka, Haruna ; Okada, Kensuke. / A specific type of insulin-like peptide regulates the conditional growth of a beetle weapon. In: PLoS biology. 2019 ; Vol. 17, No. 11. pp. e3000541.
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